True white-knuckle adventure comes without a premium


Challenge accepted, let the adrenaline rush begin! But my beloved wasn’t so sure: she was whispering in my ear, “What if we damage the car? It could cost thousands! Do we want to take that risk?”

I said, “Listen, we could do this the safe, sensible, smart way. But remember, life is either a daring adventure or it’s not worth living!”

My inspirational words got to her. She gazed at me with wide-eyed admiration and mumbled, “Jeepers.” But then again, she may have rolled her eyes and mumbled, “Cheap arse.” It was noisy in there, hard to pick up nuances.

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So we drove around for eight days in a car with no insurance and every metre of road we covered was a metre of sweaty-palmed, edge-of-the-car-seat, no-damage-liability-protection excitement. Every freeway we drove on, we kept well under the speed limit, tried to stay in one lane only, and made eye contact with all passing motorists, mouthing the words, “KEEP AWAY! WE HAVE NO INSURANCE! KEEP AWAYYYYYYYY!” Every country town we visited, we made sure we parked a comfortable distance from other cars to avoid accidental scratches or dents – preferably a kilometre away, in the middle of a large, empty paddock. Every hairpin turn on every steep, narrow cliff-side road was knot-in-the-stomach stuff, holding down our car horn to warn approaching vehicles, and slowing to 3km/h. At one point a kid on a pushbike overtook us. Uphill.

There were moments of excruciating distress, like when we lightly grazed a hubcap on a kerb and we immediately pulled over. I commando-rolled out of the car, then rubbed off the scuff mark using my own panic tears and grazed-knee blood.

And there were moments of exhilarating joy and triumph – well, one anyway. The moment our holiday was finally over and we returned the car to the Sydney Airport car rental place without a scratch. Oh, the relief as we eased over that final entry gate speed bump – gentle, nice ’n’ slow, ahhhhhh – then parked in our drop-off spot, hugging each other and howling, “WHOOOOOHOOOOOO! WE DID IT! WHOOOOOHOOOO!”

And we will do it again. And again. Because I am a high-octane adventurer. And a bit of a jeepers.

Danny Katz is a regular columnist.



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